Started a new boooook today, What the Fireflies Knew. I’m not sure what this book will turn out to be but here are some of the keywords.

Detroit. Ths kids in the story were originally living in Detroit. Until their dad died. My granddaddy and [beloved] step grandma Bolette lived in Detroit when I was a kid, well until the riots made them decide their neighborhood wasn’t safe for them any more. I loved visiting them at their art deco house on Mark Twain. Most of mom’s fam was close enough to visit so I got to know all of my cousins on that side of the fam (and we are still connected). And we would go to the auto show at Cobo and the downtown Hudson’s where The Commander worked as a buyer when she was young before she moved to the yooperland. The kids in this book are Black and poor. My fam was, uh, not really.

Lansing. The kids in the story moved to Lansing. We would visit mom’s brother and fam in [East] Lansing. My late uncle Austin MacMu was director of the DNR back in the day and he would tour us through the capitol building. About all I remember about that is the glass floor. I know a lot of schoolchildren probably take field trips (probably even my own) but you didn’t take a day trip to Lansing from the yooperland, even when it wasn’t snowing.

Granddaddy! This family calls the mom’s dad Granddaddy. I called both of my grandfathers granddaddy. Dad’s dad was just plain granddaddy. Mom’s dad was Funny Granddaddy. He wasn’t always funny but had a particular joke about his hat (that I can’t remember) for YOUNG grandchildren. You know dad jokes? I think this was a granddaddy joke. My dad was also granddaddy (as was his brother). The GG’s dad was Grandpa Garth at least to my kids. When my little munchkin Liz was learning to talk, my dad was Jack and the GG’s dad was Bumpa. I’m not sure where Bumpa came from but it definitely fit. Jack was my dad’s name. His government name was Kenneth John but he was JACK! Jeebus.

Anne of Green Gables. Anne-with-an-E, like meeeee. I can’t really describe the relationship(s) I have with those books. We (beach urchins and I) started reading the first book aloud when they were approaching middle school (Liz was probably already there). Everyone including me took off from there and read all eight books. And. We discovered the BBC series and all of us including the GG watched it over and over. The Black child narrating the book snagged a ragged paperback copy of Anne of Green Gables in the lost and found at her former school in Detroit and is reading it. She seems to recognize Anne as a kindred spirit as do I.

P.S. I have never liked the name “Anne” but my moom once let slip that Anne of Green Gables was an influence for that name. It also might be a woman who may have been one of her best friends in life. Annie, a woman I have heard of my whole life but have never met. Anne of Green Gables hated her name too and wished for a name like Cordelia, which wouldn’t have been my choice. But I’m okay with Anne (with an e) for now.

2 Responses to “Keywords”

  1. Pooh Says:

    It’s funny the connections we make with books, and between books.

  2. Margaret Says:

    I loved the Anne of Green Gables books and the Canadian series. I enjoy reading books with ties to my area although I usually find mistakes to be frustrated by. 😉